by: Phil Mayer
LUBBOCK, Texas – After Texas Tech touched down in Lubbock following a double-overtime loss to Kansas Monday, Adonis Arms got straight to work.
Arms, who played a season-low 11 minutes in the defeat, visited the Womble Basketball Center for a 3:00 a.m. workout. Saturday, he saw the fruits of his labor pay off.
Arms was thrust into the starting lineup against Mississippi State after Terrence Shannon Jr. was ruled out and he seized the opportunity, pouring in 16 points to lead the No. 13 Red Raiders to a 76-50 win.
The super-senior guard came out of the gates firing, scoring seven points in the game’s first 3:16 and forcing Bulldog coach Ben Howland to take an early timeout.
Arms made three more jump shots before the first half ended, matching his season-high of 15 points before halftime.
He notched just one point in the second half, but his production extended beyond scoring – Arms also had a team-high seven assists.
Arms was one of several bright spots for the Red Raiders in the win, which was their second-straight in the annual Big 12-SEC Challenge.
The Red Raiders shot the ball with deadly efficiency, making 61.7 percent of their shots from the floor. They moved the ball well, assisting on 20 of 27 baskets. Kevin Obanor, Mylik Wilson and Bryson Williams joined Arms as double-digit scorers.
The Red Raiders out-rebounded Mississippi State, forced more turnovers than the Bulldogs and dominated points in the paint, outscoring MSU 44-16 inside.
Defensively, Texas Tech’s primary assignment was to stop the Bulldogs’ electric guard Iverson Molinar, who, like his namesake, is dangerous attacking the rim but can step out and knock down jump shots as well.
Molinar flashed his skills with eight quick points in the first 10 minutes of the game, but Texas Tech hunkered down and held him to four points the rest of the way.
Molinar’sc scoring kept the game close in the early minutes, but the Red Raiders finished the first half on a 20-7 run, opening up a 37-22 lead at halftime. An Obanor 3-pointer early in the second half gave them a 20-point lead and MSU was never able to make them sweat for the rest of the game.
Offense was a struggle for the Bulldogs, who typically thrive on scoring around the rim. The Red Raiders played their usual sound, no-middle defense, walling off any path to the basket. Mississippi State was not able to beat Texas Tech from outside, making just four 3-pointers.
The Red Raiders did not miss a beat without Shannon, who managed just five points in the loss to Kansas. Having players like Arms ready to step in for him certainly helps.
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February 04 2022 06:30 pm